October 2021

Shinya Yamamura piece in the Victoria & Albert Museum

Shinya yamamura SY 4429 01

Katie Jones is excited to announce that a beautiful lacquer incense box by Shinya Yamamura has recently been added to the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, thanks to a generous benefactor. 

This piece, illustrated here - Lacquer (hiragana decoration) incense box, 2021, H 6.1 x W 8.5 x D 6.1 cm, Mexican abalone, turban-shell, gold powder - contains Japanese Hiragana characters in turban shell. Hiragana is one of three character sets used in the Japanese language. Each Hiragana letter represents particular sound, the letter itself has no meaning.

This work takes a very long time to make, as layers of lacquer, Mexican abalone, turban-shell, and gold powder are meticulously and precisely added in a dust free environment.

Shinya Yamamura is a professor at Kanazawa Art Crafts University. 

Another work by Shinya Yamamura in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Incense Box with storage box, 2011, is illustrated below. The Victoria & Albert Museum described the 2011 piece as 'a classic example of the extraordinary workmanship of one of Japan's most inventive and polymathic lacquer artists.'

Shinya yamamura SY 4429 02